Monday, November 03, 2014

The Christian Lady and Discretion

This is a post brought to you by popular request from readers. It is also available in bulletin form to print, which I will include at a later time. This post is not talking about any particular person, but when we read the Bible instructions to women, it is personal.

The book of Proverbs talks about discretion and how it applies to women: Proverbs 11:22. Discretion has been described as a quality of appropriate speech and behavior.  One dictionary defines it in the following way:
  1. 1.
    the quality of behaving or speaking in such a way as to avoid causing offense or revealing private information.
    "she knew she could rely on his discretion"
    synonyms:circumspection, carefulness, cautionwariness, guardedness;

    tact,tactfulness, diplomacydelicacysensitivityprudence, judiciousness

Some of the same letters that spell the word "discreet" make up the word "secret" which is one of the meanings of discretion. A lady keeps some things to herself and does not reveal everything people have told her.

A lady who is truly concerned about spiritual things will be discreet. It means to understand  when to say things and what is nappropriate to do or say in any given situation. In what we call mixed company, some topics of a personal nature are not appropriate to discuss. 

Being discreet shows love and thoughtfulness, as it protects other people from rumors and invasion of their privacy.

Learning to be discreet may involve making some "do and don't" rules to remember, and analyzing situations in order to learn to "hold your tongue". Yet, it should eventually become a matter of keeping your record clean before The Lord by being courteous.

In an era where the culture around us does not blush at "tell-all" discussions, the Christian lady must be guided by scripture and not by the popular trends. Sometimes social media defies the quality of discretion, as people reveal every personal detail they can about themselves and other people. The Privacy of others is often invaded.

An 1828 Dictionary describes discretion as:

1. Prudence, or knowledge and prudence; that discernment which enables a person to judge critically of what is correct and proper, united with caution; nice discernment and judgment, directed by circumspection, and primarily regarding ones own conduct.
The opposite of discretion is heedless, mindless, casting all caution to the wind, or carelessness. The indiscreet woman is described as follows:
Proverbs 11:22    As a jewel of gold in a swine's snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion.
It is a blessing to be attractive, but if a woman is not refined in her words, talks about private and innappropriate things, holds grudges and brings up old offenses, it all casts a dark shadow on her prettiness.  Women need to attain inner beauty by acquiring the quality of discretion.

Discretion is not limited to speech. It includes behavior. 

Older women are to be discreet in order to be pleasing to God and others and to qualify them to teach the younger women:

Titus 2:5    To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the 
word of God be not blasphemed.
Being careful in what you say and do will become a habit that will make discretion a natural part of your character. Discretion is important because of your influence at home, in the world and in the church. Christians must be careful not to bring reproach upon the home or the church. While it is essential that the wives of church leaders be discreet, this quality is for all Christian ladies. Practicing discretion will better qualify the older women to teach the younger women to be discreet.

God loves his children and has included a benefit with everything He commands in the Word (the scriptures) through the Holy Spirit. An old military slogan from the 1940's said, “Silence is Security.” As ladies limit the amount of personal information and the amount of repeating what others say (tale-bearing), they will be protected from accusations, falsehood, stress, and imposition on their personal privacy. God is good. He provides a way for us to live in harmony with Him and others when we adhere to His Will. Being discreet is cooperating with God and allowing His grace to work in your life. The Christian lady may also find more peace and spiritual strength in her life when being discreet.

To exercise restraint when tempted to be inappropriately revealing (not just in speech, but in living ), why not submit your anxiety or request or concern to the Lord Jesus and make a best friend of Him. The Christian lady will have so many more benefits in her life when she “tells -all” to her Lord and Savior, who will keep it safely and answer her prayers.

May God bless you as you trust Him and seek to be discreet in your life and teach others by your example. Please remember to click on comments and read them, or click on the post title and comments will appear with the post.


Mrs. Christopher Daniels said...

Hi Lady Lydia!
Thank you for explaining this in detail. This adds a lot to my understanding. Blessings!

Mrs Peterson's Place said...

Hello Lady Lydia! Thank you for the beautiful teaching on Discretion. I needed this. Sometimes I get so involved in the conversation I forget about discretion.

Have a blessed day! ~Dee

Brenda Fricke said...

Dear Lady Lydia,
Thank you for this reminder and encouragement. It never ceases to amaze me at the shameful things some Christians reveal, even about their own past. I understand wanting to encourage other women in that there is no sin too great for God to forgive and that there is redemption, healing and even service in the Kingdom after sin, however you cannot escape this passage in Titus commanding discretion. Thank you for faithfully teaching Truth from God's Word even when it's not popular or comfortable.

LadyLydia said...

Tierra, Dee, Brenda,

I agree with you and thank you for coming to visit. Yes it is possible to sully the kingdom with reports of past indiscretions and the habit of making it a testimony can bring harm all around. Instead we ought to teach what the Bible says and not get too much in to revealing things that may affect our husbands and children and church members, etc.

Sarah R said...

I think about discretion a lot. I am related to (by marriage) a woman who is the exact opposite of discreet. At family get togethers, I am sometimes horrified at what is discussed at the dinner table. Even my husband who is a saved Christian man is immune to this, because he has grown up amongst people who share the smallest details of their lives. They consider me cold and distant, which simply isn't true. But I know that I do share anything, it will be discussed once I leave the room, so I keep my personal life to myself!

Michelle said...

Thankyou for this teaching. It is so refreshing to have Godly examples to aspire to! Especially in this culture of "doing as you feel"
Such a blessing to me.

Linda said...

Dear Lady Lydia,
Thank-you for this timely refresher course on discretion. With the holidays coming I hope to keep this in mind.

Thank-you also for all the work you put into your blog. It is always informing and encouraging.

Lori Alexander said...

This was amazing and convicting! It's so easy for us women to not be given to silence but it's an important quality to develop.

living from glory to glory said...

Dear Lydia, I think this is a very wise and powerful post! We must remember we do not have to tell all to everyone! Our culture has given us a different message! I appreciate at how well you explained it and showed us what scripture tells us we will look like if we do not use Discretion!
I also printed it out and have placed it on my desk.
May God continue to use you to help me become all whom God has designed me to be, look and act!
Thank YOU, Roxy

Barbara said...

Dear Lady Lydia, Once again the Lord has spoken to me words I needed to see in your blog. Discretion is fast becoming a foreign concept yet the lack of it is so harmful. Thank you for writing this post.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...